Understanding Fuel Contaminants
By Tom Bock
Usually this column addresses OIL sampling; however with winter fast approaching this may be a good time to discuss COOLANT SAMPLING. Did you know it is recommended that the coolant be sampled twice per year in April and October, to ensure proper protection from the elements? The oil will protect your engine from wear and provide lower end cooling but the coolant protects from freezing and overheating. When you take into consideration over 40% of premature engine failures are due to a coolant system problem, sampling the coolant should be part of your preventive maintenance program.
The coolant system is typically the most neglected component of the modern diesel engines. Most people think that as long as they maintain the proper coolant levels the system will function properly. They fail to realize that chemical reactions degrade the coolant and cause metal corrosion and chemical breakdown, making the coolant ineffective and decreasing useful engine life. Coolants are formulated to prevent problems improperly maintained poor quality coolant will result in corrosion, pitting, cavitations, erosion and electrolysis, leading to premature engine failure.
A comprehensive COOLANT sample analysis will detect contamination, combustion gases, metal corrosion, chemical breakdown and overheating issues. Identifying these issues within the cooling system will enable you to make the necessary repairs to prevent premature engine failure.
The over the counter tests you can purchase at most auto stores will give you the level of coolant vs. water percentage but it will not tell you the levels of contaminates, acids, inorganic inhibitors, hardness etc.
A comprehensive COOLANT sample analysis usually costs $65 - $125, a relatively small amount to ensure your engine does not fail prematurely.
Prepaid COOLANT sample kits are available by calling: 866-OILPURE (645-7873) and pressing 7 for Artie.
If you have any questions pertaining to coolant or oil or oil sampling please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: MOVIN OUT QUESTION.